Core Mechanic Hack: Level Difference As a Modifier

General Discussion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, ok, I know. The playtests haven't finished yet and I am already thinking how to alter the mechanics... Bear with me for a moment though.

As some of the readers noted, the add +1 per level to everything creates very inflated numbers, though I understand the idea behind it to limit the spread of numbers on each level.

It came to my mind that it could be represented a bit differently though. Drop adding +1 to level to everything, and instead, when interacting with opposition that has level (such as NPCs, monsters, traps), apply a bonus or penalty to relevant check based on difference between levels. Depending on how significantly would the GM want the level to impact the game, the modifier could be +/–1 per 1 level of difference, per 2 levels of difference, or for a much flatter impact, even per 3, 4, or 5 levels. What's more, the impact could be more carefully tuned by using different rations for opposition that is of higher level than the one that is of lower level. For example, if we would want the game where defeating opposition is more challenging in general, the penalty against higher level challenges could be —1 per level of difference, but the bonus against lower level opposition would be +1 per two levels of difference, making lower level threats viable for longer time.

Another important element of this change would be adding a cap to the maximum bonus/penalty — with the default cap of +/–5. This would make level difference still a thing, but at the same time would mean that creatures and traps of higher/lower level would still have a degree of meaningful role in the game, while at the same time, higher level creatures would still be dangerous.

No more 20th level dwarf barbarians with Charisma 8, and no training in Deception being sure their lie to a 1st level noble, city magistrate, or a guard passes more or less undetected...

This would allow for getting rid of the annoying, lacking an easy formula to calculate on fly DC per levels table, having a single range for each of easy, medium, challenging, hard, very hard, and legendary difficulties for actions that don't have levels.

Of course there is a drawback to this solution: instead of having everything written down, you would have to apply the modifier on specific rolls, but if that would mean you don't have to have to erase whole character sheet each time you level up, it's a sacrifice I am willing to make...

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't really see the point, but I guess if it works for you, it at least solves the issues that other 'removing level' stuff have. But I don't really have an issue with how it works currently, as I feel the lv 20 8 Cha Dwarf barbarian is a bit of a logical extreme that won't be much of a thing in most circumstances, and it's far easier for me to just roll and add proficiency than work with level difference bonuses and penalties, especially as a GM.

Since not knowing things is a big feature of this version (all the secret stuff) knowing definitively your relative levels is contraindicated.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

many GMs i've played with--and I myself--generally don't tell people the specifics of any circumstance bonuses/penalties (like this "level difference modifier" would likely be) they might have, other than informing them that due to their prior setup (or lack thereof), the roll will be modified in some way.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Core Mechanic Hack: Level Difference As a Modifier All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion